Advice on my Absentee owner letter

19 Replies

Hi guys, 

I hope everyone is enjoying their thanksgiving holiday. I am working on mailing my letters to an absentee owners list I have. Before I print and send them off I was hoping I could get some advice on the wording in my letter.

 I need some insight from a third party that may have tried this method before or have received these letters themselves. What can I put to make the letter more engaging or appealing to the reader?

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This is my letter below:

Dear [Homeowner first name]

I hope this letter finds you well. ?
I am writing to you in regards to your property located on [Property Address]. I am representing buyers that are looking to purchase property in your area quickly and hassle free. ?
In today’s market the seller has a huge advantage to selling their property for top dollar due to the shortage of real estate inventory in Los Angeles county.

I respectfully wonder if you have given any thought in selling your property.

If so, it is a good time to discuss the opportunity available to homeowners who sell their property during a demanding buyer’s market such as the one we are facing today. ??Please call me (818) 274-2223 or email me at [email protected]

I look forward to speaking with you soon. ??Best,
Annette Torsarkissian
CalBRE# 056583

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Thanks!

Annette

Are you trying to buy, or list?  You're telling people they can get top dollar.

Originally posted by @Annette Torsarkissian :

Hi guys, 

I hope everyone is enjoying their thanksgiving holiday. I am working on mailing my letters to an absentee owners list I have. Before I print and send them off I was hoping I could get some advice on the wording in my letter.

 I need some insight from a third party that may have tried this method before or have received these letters themselves. What can I put to make the letter more engaging or appealing to the reader?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is my letter below:

Dear [Homeowner first name]

I hope this letter finds you well. ?
I am writing to you in regards to your property located on [Property Address]. I am representing buyers that are looking to purchase property in your area quickly and hassle free. ?
In today’s market the seller has a huge advantage to selling their property for top dollar due to the shortage of real estate inventory in Los Angeles county.

I respectfully wonder if you have given any thought in selling your property.

If so, it is a good time to discuss the opportunity available to homeowners who sell their property during a demanding buyer’s market such as the one we are facing today. ??Please call me (818) 274-2223 or email me at [email protected]

I look forward to speaking with you soon. ??Best,
Annette Torsarkissian
CalBRE# 056583

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Thanks!

Annette

 Annette - it seems you are saying we are in a seller's market first and then you ae saying it's a buyer's market at the end.  Which is it?

Since I don't have funding sources right now to buy houses on my own. I am looking to build some capital in the mean time by selling these off market properties I get from the mailers to my list of cash buyers.

My approach through this letter is to give the seller the option of listing their property on the market or have it sold quickly with a cash buyer.

Should  the "I buy houses" approach and "listing your home" approach be two separate types of marketing?

In my opinion, if you're targeting absentee owners you can go for the standard "I buy houses" letter. Most of these people are landlords or people who indeed have vacant homes. I'd consider focusing more on probates and pre-foreclosures. Then again, this might really depend on the area. 

I've also found that bandit signs are way more effective than yellow letters. Just keep in mind bandit signs are illegal in most cities. 

@Daniel Moctezuma  
Currently my market is the Los Angeles area. The reason I decided to reach absentee owners was to find tired landlords who are looking to take their money out since real estate in Los Angeles is significantly higher than other parts of the country.

Pre-foreclosures was the next market I was looking to target on my list since it is easy for me to get a list through my title company.
I am not sure how buy probates since there is an auction/bidding involved. Let me know how it works out for you.

@Annette Torsarkissian  There's a local website that provides probate records daily (I pay a monthly subscription). You can try googling "Probate records Los Angeles" or something along the lines. 

For pre-foreclosures, a lot of people don't have enough equity in their houses. I also get this data from a website but I make sure to filter a Loan to value ration of 60 % or lower. Otherwise you are going to be dealing with short sales. 

@Annette Torsarkissian   Some good feedback however the only real vote on a letter that counts is from a someone who puts money in your pocket. 

The aspect of advertising involving persuasive written sales skills is called copywriting. It can be very powerful and compelling. 

I know, all you want to do is send a few letters out and find a deal. 

Here are the fact: there are people/companies spending serious money on mail pieces, sophisticated copywriters, mind control techniques (NLP), multiple mail piece sequences, etc. 

So, how do you compete with that? 

Short answer: you don't. 

Every property owner needs a catalyst in order to be motivated to sell you at a bargain price. I suggest that you don't work absentee owners to start. Also, I would not start with probates, either. 

Just work defaulted properties with equity. If you haven't already done so, subscribe to property radar as you can sort by very tight criteria and download your N.O.D. list(s) and then send multiple mailing to a tight farm area. Sort out the juicy one close by and door knack them. Find the ones that mail is returned to you marked as a nuclear with new address or similar.

I love probates and have done far more such deals than anyone on BP however that's not the niche to start with.

Also, familiarize yourself with civil code 1695 and buy the book, "purchasing property in foreclosure" from real estate publisher First Tuesday. It's inexoensive, too. 

BTW, my half-Sister's other half is Armenian in L.A. Area, too. Love that poclava!

HI @Annette Torsarkissian  ,

I also hail from the LA area and I've been mailing homes for quite a while now but I don't pay for any lists.  I just drive around and look for "ugly" homes then look them up on realist and mail to them, whether they are owner-occ or not.  I got two appointments after sending out only 25 letters.  I'm thinking it was a bit of an anomaly since I've sent out dozens since and haven't received another call.  I'm still working on closing the deal on those two.  

My first round letter was very simple and straight to the point:  

Dear Ms. Smith,

My name is Brett Synicky. I’m a licensed Real Estate Agent and I represent a client who is interested in buying your home at 1234 Main St in Los Angeles. My client is very serious, pays all cash for as-is condition and is able to close in 10-14 days in most cases. Please let me know if you’re interested in selling, want to know your homes value or have any other real estate related questions.

Sincerely,

Brett Synicky

BRE# 01956059

Good luck!  

Brett Synicky, Real Estate Agent in CA (#01956059)
949-329-3617

Annette

Glad to see you corrected your license number, I thought you must be the oldest California real estate agent alive. Mine dates back to 1965 and it wasn't even close to your original post. 

Any way absentee owners are great, when I started working them no body else was and it was easy living. I was in the office one day an a out of state owner called to ask about the market and I ended up listing his house. I then wondered how many such owners there were out there and went to the title com. They were a ton, and my easy life started. But a blabber mouth clerk in the office I was in started telling everyone of the great volume of business I was getting and from what, Thankfully most agents she told were too lazy to do something new and find out about it. But the word got out, especially to a wannabe guru who joined our investors group and we accepted his BS story and let him in. 

He had never done a deal but picked our brains and wrote his book which became a best seller, I won't give his name but hopefully he is in a cemetery somewhere with a headstone the dogs like to use. His book was good because he gave away many of our secrets and created a lot of competition we wouldn't have had for years or decades.

Any way, I suggest you first approach them as a agent adding if they need a really quick sale you do buy properties as an investor. Either way if they would like to talk about it your available at a 800 number, and or an e-mail address. I have lots of other suggestions but I won't give them out until I know I'm not returning to California for sure.

@Annette Torsarkissian  Narrow down your list of properties.  Look for out of town owners, high equity, owned +10 years, etc, etc.   If you want to be some what serious about being in the business subscribe to property radar.  Property data can easily manipulate and mailed out within minutes.


Frank

Frank Romine, Real Estate Agent in CA (#01957844)
Originally posted by @Brian P. :

Annette

Glad to see you corrected your license number, I thought you must be the oldest California real estate agent alive. Mine dates back to 1965 and it wasn't even close to your original post. 

Any way absentee owners are great, when I started working them no body else was and it was easy living. I was in the office one day an a out of state owner called to ask about the market and I ended up listing his house. I then wondered how many such owners there were out there and went to the title com. They were a ton, and my easy life started. But a blabber mouth clerk in the office I was in started telling everyone of the great volume of business I was getting and from what, Thankfully most agents she told were too lazy to do something new and find out about it. But the word got out, especially to a wannabe guru who joined our investors group and we accepted his BS story and let him in. 

He had never done a deal but picked our brains and wrote his book which became a best seller, I won't give his name but hopefully he is in a cemetery somewhere with a headstone the dogs like to use. His book was good because he gave away many of our secrets and created a lot of competition we wouldn't have had for years or decades.

Any way, I suggest you first approach them as a agent adding if they need a really quick sale you do buy properties as an investor. Either way if they would like to talk about it your available at a 800 number, and or an e-mail address. I have lots of other suggestions but I won't give them out until I know I'm not returning to California for sure.

 Thank you, this is one of the key answers I was looking for when I put up this question on the forum. I will first offer my services as an agent then as an investor.

Do you feel that giving out an 800 number is better than my cell or office number? If so, why?

It is so unfortunate to hear stories of gurus ripping off information like that.  I have paid wayyyy too much money to those gurus to learn tricks to the trade but thankfully I have found Bigger Pockets.

If you decide to comeback into real estate in California let me know I'd like to be a part of your team.

@Daniel Moctezuma I agree, correct me if I'm wrong but I feel that many of the pre-foreclosures we ar dealing with in today's market have little to no equity because these homes were purchased during the 2007 bubble.

Does your website source for probate properties offer probate information in other states as well?

@Rick H.   Tons of great information. I can't say "your right" enough. This approach would really help smaller companies like mine get started and build good relationships.
I'm looking into Property Radar and I really like what I see. I have access to the MLS and my title rep to get a lot of information. Property Radar puts all the information on to one platform which can be very helpful.

Thanks for the book suggestions as well always looking for the next good read.

Do you feel with MLS access and title rep information that Property Radar would still be a good tool? Is Property Radar one of your main tools when looking for deals?

@Brett Synicky Only 25 letters is great! Your approach is very simple and functional which now I'm beginning to realize is the key to starting out and building momentum in the business.

Thank you for showing me your letter. If it is okay with you I would like to implement some of the wording. I was having a difficult time putting in the correct wording to make sure I am not over promising a buyer but letting the potential seller know that I do have buyers that are interested. I think your letter offers the correct wording without over promising. 

I had spent so much time on my letter and trying to make it sound perfect and I had forgotten to keep it simple!

Originally posted by @Frank Romine :

@Annette Torsarkissian Narrow down your list of properties.  Look for out of town owners, high equity, owned +10 years, etc, etc.   If you want to be some what serious about being in the business subscribe to property radar.  Property data can easily manipulate and mailed out within minutes.


Frank

 I am definitely interested in getting serious about picking up deals and I know they are out there. 

Your the second person that mentioned property radar so it seems to have a lot of good credibility. Since I have MLS access and a title rep that sends me specific addresses that Property Radar would be a useful tool? If so, how?

@Annette Torsarkissian  The website I use only works in Illinois. And you're right, most people don't have equity in their homes. If you find a website that can provide pre-foreclosure lists, make sure you filter results by equity % (I aim for at least 40 % equity) and you can also filter by mortgage date. If for some reasons the website doesn't provide equity or mortgage date, I wouldn't bother buying the list. In my area, less than 20 % of people facing foreclosure have equity in their homes. 

@Rick Harmon  Tons of great information. I can't say "your right" enough. This approach would really help smaller companies like mine get started and build good relationships. 

I'm looking into Property Radar and I really like what I see. I have access to the MLS and my title rep to get a lot of information. Property Radar puts all the information on to one platform which can be very helpful.

Thanks for the book suggestions as well always looking for the next good read.

Do you feel with MLS access and title rep information that Property Radar would still be a good tool? Is Property Radar one of your main tools when looking for deals?

 I have all the fancy stuff from my title company however I to use Property Radar as you said it best. Founder/CEO Sean O'Toole is a friend of mine however I'm just a regular subscriber. 

Speaking of Property Radar, I visited their headquarters several weeks ago and was I impressed! There are a lot of very smart people there and you have no idea what they must go through to provide not only the data but the incredibly intuitive user experience...all at a bargain price.  While it's a great tool for finding and vetting opportunities, it's not sufficient to make final decisions to write checks. There are other due diligence steps.

BTW, Let's stop with the "maybe I'm going to get interested" talk and get into "this is the action I took and this is what happened." 

@Annette Torsarkissian  ,

Of course you can!  Use whatever you want, honestly I think it needs to be tweaked a bit which I will do pretty soon.  I would consider comparing property radar with rebo gateway although if I understand correctly pr will give you a type of heat map that shows equity which is obviously huge especially when mailing to the high equity nod's like @Rick H.  loves to do.  I don't think rg will do that but you could compare prices and features as rg always offers good pricing for Realtors.  

Good luck and keep us posted!

Brett Synicky, Real Estate Agent in CA (#01956059)
949-329-3617

Annette

I suggested the 800 number for two reasons even though some of the advantage has been cut into now days. First the best prospect are often out of state owners and they don't say to themselves that is long distance maybe I'll try them later.  Item two is there is the capture feature of 800 numbers, they capture the incoming phone number listed or not. Plus them calling you first avoids the do not call list when you call them back. 

Here is my letter.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones,

Would you consider selling your property located at:

XWZ street, in the city of XWZ

to a possible client of mine?

Sincerely;

Tom Jones,

Realtor

Licence #

and if you are an investor write this.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones,

Would you consider selling your property located at:

XWZ street, in the city of XWZ

to us for a fast sale?

Sincerely,

Tom Jones,

Investor

Tip, Never put "All Cash" because you may want to ask for terms!!!

@Morry Eghbal   your letters are very helpful. have you attempted to send letters? If so, what was your turn over rate? This is going to be my first marketing campaign.

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